Sleep Regression and its Stages
When you are planning for a baby, you must be curious to know about the behavioral patterns of your baby after birth. Generally, expectant parents are excited about the same thing. One such notable factor is the sleeping pattern. Every baby has a unique sleep cycle. There are no particular thumb rules for the sleep patterns of your baby. Hence, you, the parent, should adjust according to their sleeping needs.
Usually, the baby sleeps 14-18 hours a day immediately after birth. But the sleep cycle changes according to their growth. While growing up, the baby faces several sleeping issues, and that's why sleep regression is a severe concern.
What is Sleep Regression?Sleep regression is a phase of sleeping where your baby faces a significant shift in their sleep cycles. This is quite a natural phase experienced by babies all over the globe. However, during this period, they often have problems with sleep. In addition, though it's natural, sometimes the aftereffects of sleep regression can cause other health issues because of lack of sleep. This generally occurs after a certain period of your baby's birth.
There are generally five phases of sleep regression in terms of time. These are:
Sleep Regression at 4 MonthsThis stage occurs after the baby reaches four months of age when the 14-18 hours of the sleep cycle start changing gradually. In this phase, the sleeping duration decreases until 12-13 hours a day.
Teething is the highlight that initiates the sleep regression at six months of your baby's age. For this, your baby makes themselves get up from a very sound sleep. In this phase, your baby experiences drastic changes in their sleeping patterns.
Sleep Regression at 6 Months
Sleep Regression at 8 MonthsIn this phase of sleep regression, your baby usually experiences emotional changes, which lead to a significant difference in your baby's sleep cycle. Expressions like anxiety and restlessness are the dominant factor in the sleep regression at eight months.
Sleep Regression at 12 MonthsHyperactivity is the sole reason for this stage of sleep regression. It may lead to a significant change in your baby's sleep cycle.
In this stage, your baby wants to behave independently. But unfortunately, it leads to a prominent sleep regression that changes your baby's sleep cycle again.
Sleep Regression at 18 Months
Why does Sleep Regression Occur?Sleep regression is a natural biological phenomenon of among infants. Not only for the infants but also you will notice the sleepless situation of your older babies. To answer why sleep regression happens to babies, it is a natural process that every baby goes through. They have specific changes in sleeping pattern while growing up and these changes are fundamental. The behavioral change during different developmental stages also affects the sleep cycle and quality this leads to sleep regression. In this phase, your child faces problems with sleep, restlessness as well as certain anxiety.
Signs of Sleep RegressionThere are some significant signs of sleep regression you can notice while your baby is facing this type of regression. Some of them are as follows:
- Crawling and moving
- Subconscious babbling
- Over-attentive and over-reactive towards the surroundings
- Sudden Anxiety
How Do You Assist Your Baby With Sleep Regression?You need to be more patient while your baby experiences sleep regression. This is a normal phenomenon that every baby faces. So, tackling wisely is the sole solution to handle this sleep regression. Your baby will start to sleep less unknowingly. You can apply the following methods to get your baby back on its regular sleep routine.
Provide More ComfortYour baby faces several problems with sleep while having sleep regression. The most effective way to avoid it is to offer a better environment and comfort, which will help your baby sleep well. For example, hold them often on your lap. This will surely help your baby to have a sound sleep.
Feed wellFeeding your baby well and routinely will help with sleep regression. A good feed in the daytime can result in sound sleep, minimizing the effect of sleep regression.
Act Fast During the Sleep RegressionBabies do show some external behavioral changes while facing sleep regression. Your baby is not an exception for obvious reasons. Whenever the baby shows the symptoms of sleep regression, like crying and difficulty falling asleep, act to it as fast as possible and tries to sooth the baby. It will help your baby face fewer problems with sleep and fall asleep more quickly than before.
Darkening the RoomMake sure you keep the room dark while your baby is sleeping. Install a blackout curtain if possible. It will balance the outside light well during your baby's sleep throughout the day and night.
Maintain SilenceYou and your family member must keep your pitch low and try to maintain silence during the sleeping hours of your baby. This is because outside noise can cause sleep regression very often, due to which the babies become sleepless. In addition, babies can react unusually if they hear external sounds while sleeping. Hence, try to avoid chaos and noise when your baby is sleeping.
Apart from all these, a baby can experience nap regression as well. There is a slight difference between sleep and nap regression. While taking an afternoon nap, the baby can face regression in taking naps. The afternoon nap is essential for your baby when mainly facing sleep regression at six months and at eight months. Lastly, sleep regression is a normal phenomenon and should not be worried about. In case you find something very unusual, consulting a pediatrician is a good decision.
Note: The article is meant for general awareness of the readers. The information can’t be used as a substitute to a medical prescription or diagnosis by a medical professional. In case you are finding your baby uncomfortable during or near sleep time, kindly consult a registered medical professional.
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